BULAWAYO - The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has okayed a special request by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) to extract raw water from Khami Dam to the Bulawayo Power Station to boost electricity generation by 60 megawatts (MW).
This followed an application to the local authority by the ZPC managing director Noah Gwariro.
BCC acting director of engineering services Wisdom Siziba approved the request.
“I recommend that a water supply agreement that would be beneficial to both parties be drafted and signed and should cover aspects of cost recovery as requested by ZPC,” Siziba said, adding that infrastructure remains under the ownership of BCC and should have full authority over the treated water while reserving the right to supply any excess water to other applicants.
In the December 10 letter, Gwariro said the power utility was currently working on a project aimed at increasing electricity generation output at Bulawayo Power Station from the current 30MW to 90MW.
“The project entails replacing the existing 10 chain grate boilers by two new Circulation Fluidised Bed Combustion (CFBC) boiler units (2x45MW),” Gwariro said.
“These new boilers will require 11 mega litres (ML) of process water everyday in order to achieve the required electricity generation capacity.
“We hereby apply for water supply facility whereby Bulawayo City Council supplies 11 ML of raw water to Bulawayo Power Station to satisfy the new boilers requirement,” reads the letter.
Under the proposal, ZPC will rehabilitate the Khami water treatment plant and instal a new pipeline of adequate capacity from Khami Dam to Bulawayo Power Station.
ZPC would then recover the cost of these works through a structured cost recovery system to be agreed upon by both parties.
Gwariro said the Bulawayo repowering project secured a line of credit from the Indian government.
This funding can only be accessed once ZPC has demonstrated that it has in turn secured agreements for all key inputs, water included.
While the credit line agreement requires that the contractor be from India, locals are expected to benefit from the employment opportunities offered by the entire repowering project.
The Bulawayo Power Station repowering project is expected to commence in the third quarter of this year.